On Narcissists - When masks fall

Only half a year ago, I wouldn't have dreamt of writing such a blog post, but it seems relevant and timely. It can be observed in many places that masks are now increasingly coming off everywhere - and not because it's almost Carnival.


Labeling people can be a control mechanism.
Until now, I had always refused to label or categorize people. Spinster, only child, lesbian, country girl, go getter... Labels are always pregnant with unconscious content that can become traps for those affected if they even so slightly identify with them.  In essence, they are projections that can serve manipulation and societal control mechanisms that aim to keep people trapped in their limited image of themselves and the world they live in.


I might have taken this attitude a little too far. I'm not sure myself, but I don't want to waste too much time dwelling on it. I just want to raise awareness of what it does to us and what significance it can have for the collective when we allow for labels to be put on everything and everyone.


An example of a label that I haven't paid much attention to is that of the narcissist. Perhaps I unconsciously avoided it because it would cause me too much pain. But for several months now, it has been looming and simultaneously showing up more prominently on the world stage.


Integrating clinical terms into societal norms weakens their meaning and devalues them to trivialities.

It's important to clarify (or clear up) something right away. In our society, there is a tendency to "normalize" clinical or scientific terms by using them more frequently in everyday life, separating them from their original meaning and weakening their deeper significance. When such terms become part of everyday language, not only is their original meaning diminished, but also the people or situations affected by them. Through sociocultural conditioning, a significant imbalance or problem is trivialized.


If it becomes a trend to label someone who crosses your path in a social context as "disabled" or to call someone who strongly stands up for themselves a narcissist, for exmaple, then we should seriously look at what is happening in society.


From a meta perspective, it is relatively clear. The devaluation and normalization of negatively charged terms or topics distort things or states that could possibly question the status quo. Thus, the difficulty of the matter may not penetrate deeply into the collective consciousness. This way, many crucial issues often fly under the radar for far too long.


But as with everything in life, things come into our individual focus when they are due - in Divine timing, so to speak. That's why I'm writing today. And admittedly, this blog post basically sets the stage for one I've had in the pipeline for a while. But everything in due course.

What is narcissism, and how does it manifest?

At this point, I want to first shed light on what narcissism is. Everything I write here is a sum of my research and my own experiences. I am neither a therapist nor a doctor, let alone a psychologist, so I do not claim correctness in what I say here. Everyone please do their own research, check everything said here at least three times, and then let it pass through their own heart to feel if it rings and feels true.


From what I know, narcissistic personality disorder manifests in a variety of ways, probably as many as there are people on this planet. Because we must be clear that each of us carries this predisposition within.


If your breath stops at this point, or you hear yourself sigh, I want to share my own intuitive perception with you: Every time you ask yourself if you might be a narcissist, the probability of being one decreases. Meaning, if you wonder whether you are one, you probably aren't. Why?

Because a real narcissist rarely knows that they are one and therefore doesn't ask themselves this question. This may be an exaggerated statement, but I believe it's more true than false because what a narcissist lacks is the ability for deep self-reflection. And that takes us straight to the topic.


People who are narcissistically inclined are separated from their selves and thus have limited access to their true essence. Even though this is an "expert statement" that I have read repeatedly, I feel it is true because it is what I perceive in the eyes of these people. A kind of fracture in their core. I can't describe it any other way. It's as if an insurmountable barrier separates them from their center, which is incredibly sad.


As mentioned, there are certainly many expressions and degrees of narcissistic predisposition. Since I want to keep this post more general, I will stick to the so-called "pathological definition" of the narcissist, and because German psychologist and trauma expert Verena König was the one who opened my eyes in this regard, I want to refer to her. König has an incredible talent for explaining complicated and painful content in an easily understandable and respectful way.

So, Verena König doesn't even use the term narcissist but uses the term "toxic people." In her podcast #46 titled "Recognize, understand, deal with toxic people," König pragmatically describes a certain basic pattern after which an encounter/relationship with a narcissist usually unfolds. Below, I'll outline the individual phases. I'll use the masculine form here, although it is clear that what is said here does not only apply to men.

Basic pattern of a relationship with a narcissist:

  1. A wonderful, intense first encounter. Love Bombing - A lot of recognition, praise, and love flow. The narcissist gives you the feeling of seeing you, recognizing you in all your glory and greatness.

  2. A typical narcissistic way of manipulation is "future faking." The narcissist talks a lot about what he wants to achieve, paints a wonderful picture of the future he sees with you or for you, often accompanied by promises of all kinds.

  3. After trust is established, the behavior begins to subtly change. It can take weeks or months. It's often subtle, usually to the point where you wonder afterwards if you imagined it (and often talk yourself out of it). The narcissist puts his emotional well-being on your shoulders and blames you if he doesn't feel good or can't achieve his goals. This doesn't have to be dramatic but can be mentioned in a side note. If you dare to express your own needs, you will be ignored or called stupid, dumb, crazy, or something similar.

  4. The behavior continues to change, and now the narcissist begins to exclude you. He punishes with withdrawal of his attention and "love" if you have done something that is not okay, although you usually have no idea what you could have done wrong.

  5. He only contacts you when he needs you for something.

  6. At this point, you begin to change. You begin to doubt yourself, question your perceptions. You no longer know what is right or wrong and are increasingly confused. Your sensory perceptions are clouded, and you no longer trust yourself, so much so that your self-awareness suffers massively. You start to analyze to understand. Yourself, but mostly him and the situation. Your inner conflict steadily increases because deep down, you're not sure and don't want to be unfair or wrong him.

  7. After contact, whether physical or by phone, you feel empty, emotionless, and drained.

This is the rough pattern that König explains. Of course, this dynamic can occur in any type of relationship, in partnership, family, at work, friendship, etc.


This "hook" often relies on the other person's helpers syndrome. The other instinctively senses that something is wrong with this person, imagines that if he/she has enough patience with him, he will one day "break open" and see everything. His heart will open, and he will understand...


These and other dynamics often develop between especially empathic people and a narcissist, but the experienced therapist König sets a clear boundary here: The empath must learn one thing - The narcissist cannot be saved. The only thing that helps is a cut from the situation and separation. She speaks of a very painful awakening when you realize for the first time that you have been coldly exploited, used, and deceived by this person.


I almost see heads nodding in rows at this point.


About this nodding and what comes after that, I will write in my next blog. For now, I want to focus on the topic hat hand.

In society, there is the somewhat distorted notion that a narcissist is usually obviously aggressive, expresses his anger verbally or physically, and controls his environment with his anger. It can be like that, but it doesn't have to be, and I almost believe that in reality, it's often quite different.


Some narcissists can act incredibly calculating, be masters of their expressions, and rarely lose control. It is important to understand, says König, that narcissists cannot be "saved," and the top priority is to get yourself to safety.


This may all sound terrible, and honestly, I don't feel particularly good typing these words. I just want to create awareness that this is a topic that can occur in various facets and is not yet consciously understood by many. And deliberately, I emphasize not only looking outward - where in my life am I (or was I) surrounded by narcissists. No, rather the question, where do I myself use such behavioral patterns. Consciously or unconsciously.


Narcissists have a high degree of emotional intelligence.
It's also important to understand that narcissists are masters of emotional intelligence. They observe and analyze other people, often read them like an open book, and easily find the openings to emotionally hook into the other. Empathy is completely lacking, but they are very good actors and extremely competent at pretending to be empathic!

I say this with certainty and emphasis because I have experienced this first-hand. On the one hand, I had to recognize that we tend to color reality in ways that make it less painful and don't want to acknowledge the truth of a situation out of fear of change (so-called spiritual people are great at "spiritualizing" things); on the other hand, I see in myself that a high level of awareness of one's own behavioral patterns can be helpful when we want to uncover our shadows to ultimately lift them into the light and free ourselves.


I firmly believe that people are not inherently bad. If a person develops badly, they have usually experienced something bad in their past. I believe that: Traumatized people traumatize people.


I have been saying for years that there are no perpetrators in this 3D matrix, only victims, and that's exactly what my next blog will be about.